Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Australia to provide $1 miilion in aid
There are reports of widespread damage, especially in the northern parts of Fiji.
Australia's foreign affairs minister Stephen Smith says an Australian Defence Force C130 is expected to depart from Richmond base as soon as weather permits and a commercial flight will also be available if required.
The aircraft will carry supplies such as tarpaulins for shelter, water purification tablets and water containers.
Australia will also provide funding to Fiji's National Disaster Management Office to charter transport such as helicopters and boats to deliver much needed relief supplies to remote communities.
"The Fiji Red Cross will receive funding to distribute emergency supplies already in storage in Fiji, and enable the local purchase of other essential supplies.
Mr Smith says he spoke with New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully last night to discuss assistance to Fiji in the wake of the cyclone.
He says Australia and New Zealand will work closely to coordinate their response.
"Australia will consider further assistance for reconstruction once damage has been more fully assessed.," Mr Smith said.